Prohibition as «Criminogenic» Factor
- Written by Yakov Gilinskiy
- Published in Terrorism and criminal
Prohibition nothing can be destroyed,
a prohibition it is possible to generate
only a mafia.
The reason of a topic of this paper is very repressiveness of the last Russian legislation. Bill of criminal liability for consumption of drugs; regional laws on responsibility for homosexuality "propaganda" (but it is not know that such "propaganda"); the offer to reduce age of criminal liability from 14 to 12 years; desire to restore the death penalty by a referendum (it is know that 65-70% of the Russian population want the death penalty) and so on.
Many works are devoted to the analysis of objective criminogenic factors (from a social and economic inequality to solar activity). Meanwhile such "objective and subjective" factors as a legal or moral prohibition wasn't investigated almost. Though quite often it is comes out on top in so-called "a causal complex". This extensive research field only partly plowed in the analysis of subjects and process of designing of crime, a narkotizm, corruption, terrorism, prostitution, etc.
All societies want to eradicate undesirable negative phenomena by trying to forbid them. But quite often the prohibition generates consequences that are more dangerous than the forbidden phenomena themselves.
The authorities and law enforcement bodies with pleasure follow "wishes of people", strengthening repressiveness of punishments and expanding the sphere of the forbidden. Discontent of the Russian population calls not only crime, but also other types of a deviance: alcohol abuse, consumption of drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, gambling, pornography, etc. Meanwhile, as though badly to treat the similar phenomena, all of them are generated by society, "have the bases" (according to Hegel), carry out certain social functions, and therefore there are millennia and will exist.
Any prohibitions "has a basis“. There are certain activities which have to be prohibited for the safety and well-being of the rest of society, though we may ask what constitutes a dangerous activity and how far such an activity is really a social menace. Certainly, society can't be reconciled with the violent crimes, dangerous crimes against a property (thefts, robberies, robberies, etc.) and the state quite reasonably forbids them on pain of criminal punishment. Whether but any undesirable behavior it is necessary to forbid? And whether generates other prohibitions have heavier consequences, rather than the forbidden phenomenon?
The American criminologist E. Shur call to not criminalization «crimes without victims»: consumption of drugs, homosexuality, gambling, prostitution, also production of abortions .
Crime as well as other types of a deviance is social construct . Already therefore unique "reason" of crime – will of "designer" - the legislator and the criminal law generated by it (it was ancient Romans understood: ex senatusconsultis et plebiscitis crimina exercentur – crimes arise from senatorial and national decisions).
There is not behavioural act which would be "criminal" ("deviance") in itself, according to the contents, sui generis, per se, irrespective of a social context. So, the "criminal" use of drugs, in particular cannabis derivatives, was admissible, is "normal" in many Asian countries and in the contemporary Netherlands; widespread legal consumption of alcohol is illegal, criminally in the countries of the Muslim world; legal today smoking of tobacco was forbidden on pain of the death penalty in medieval Holland; deliberate causing of death is a heavy crime (murder), but also a feat - concerning the opponent in the war, or legally neutral act – in case of necessary defense. And even rape can be act legal: feudal jus prima noctis or a ceremony of initiation of girls in some societies.
At the same time it is clear that the criminal and legal prohibition "has bases": there are the kinds of activity which are subject to a prohibition for the sake of existence and wellbeing of other people and society as a whole (murder, different types of violence, theft, robberies, and some other actions). Partly representation that there are acts objectively harmful to society and the acts designed as "crimes" by the legislator is reflected in foreign literature in the form of division into mala in se (angrily as that) and mala prohibita (angrily forbidden).
Use of Alcohol
Consumption of alcohol is inherent in mankind since the most ancient times and not always leads to abuse, including dependence (addiction) – alcoholism as a disease. Moreover, some types of alcohol in certain doses are recommended by doctors in the medical purposes (for example, 30 g of vodka a day for prevention of cardiovascular diseases, a glass of red dry wine per day at hypotonia, etc.).
Consumption of alcoholic products, as well as all types which have been saved in the course of evolution of human activity, carries out certain social functions – sedative, psychostimulating, integrating, prestigious and status, etc. For some people it is a pleasure of human communication, for others people it is leaving from nasty things of life. Whether it is necessary to forbid or limit legal trade in alcoholic products for the sake of satisfaction of moral sense of minority of puritans? I now don't speak about some reasonable restrictions and a prohibition: sales of alcoholic products to children and teenagers, their involvement in alcohol consumption, etc.
Alcohol abuse is a social evil. Consumption of alcohol in Russia is 18 liters of 100% alcohol per person per annum. It is a catastrophe for the nation. But the prohibition of alcohol is a greater evil, generating contraband, corruption, organized crime, falsification product and home-brew (Russian "samogon").
At the same time a prohibition on sale of alcoholic products give rise to certainly the criminogenic factor provoking smuggling, underground manufacturing of the alcohol which is quite often threatening to health and life people (counterfeit), and creating organized crime field of activity.
It is well-known many so-called "Dry laws" in the different countries (Finland, Sweden, Russia and so on). The most famous "Dry law" was in USA (1920-1933). Prohibition of the alcohol in USA has generated "bootleggers" and "Mafia".
Whether is mass alcoholization of the population the evil? Yes, certainly. Especially for modern Russia, which from the middle of the 90th years of the past century came out on top in the world on shower consumption of alcohol (over 15 liters of pure alcohol a year), having outstripped traditional leaders – wine-making France and Spain? According to World Health Organization (WHO), at level of shower consumption of alcohol over 8 liters begin "irreversible fading of ethnos". By 2010 "according to official figures the Russian Agency for Health and Consumer Rights (expert estimates even are higher), shower consumption rose to 18 liters of pure alcohol a year. The threshold of safety defined by WHO for any country in 8 liters, is exceeded, at least, twice – without acceptance of the most emergency measures degradation of Russia, its people is inevitable" (N. Gerasimenko, the member of the Russian Academy of Medical Science, the first deputy chairman of Committee of the State Duma on health protection). Thus consumption structure the most adverse – vodka and other hard liquor, including "samogon".
But the antialcoholic policy should include well thought over system of measures of social, economic, educational character.
Drug traffic problem is one of the sharpest and debatable in the contemporary world. The authorities and law enforcement agencies of Russia adhere to policy of an unconditional ban of consumption and drug traffic and criminal liability for any actions connected with drugs: illicit manufacturing, processing, acquisition, sale, storage, transportation, transfer of drugs and psychotropic substances, cultivation of narcocontaining plants, etc. (Art. 228-234 of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation).
Meanwhile drugs accompany mankind all known history. Still "the father of history" Herodotus described the use by ancient Egyptians of derivatives of cannabis, and "the father of medicine" Hippocrates used opium in medical practice, adhering to a principle "Don't do much harm!" Somnolent effect of opium it is mentioned in Sumer tables, i.e. 6 thousand years ago. Excavation in Peru and Ecuador testifies to the use of leaves cooks about 2300 years ago. Obviously, to the person, as well as some animals (we will remember a cat and a valerian, the dog who dug out something in the wood and "is caught by a high", rolling on a back), the aspiration to change sense by means of any means – whether it be drugs, alcohol, toxic substances, tobacco or strong tea, strong coffee is inherent.
The trade and consumption of drugs are prohibited. And as a result we have drug-smuggling, corruption and a "drug-mafia" with enormous capital. Drug business is capable of suborning the power of the law, including the police force.
The durability of drugs consumption, as well as any social "evil", testifies that it carries out quite certain social functions. As well as alcohol (which is too drug, distinctions between them not in nature of impact on the central nervous system, but in a legal assessment), drugs carry out functions of anasteziya (removal or pain reduction), sedative (calming, reducing tension), psychostimulating (along with tea or coffee), integrating (along with tobacco; let's remember our "smoke breaks" or "pipe of peace" of the American Indians). Consumption of drugs can serve as a form of a social protest, means of identification (an indicator of belonging to a certain subculture), and consumption of some of them – "elite", "prestigious" (for example, cocaine) plays a prestigious and status role. Another thing is that it is necessary to pay for everything, and consumers of drugs or other psychotropic substances pay off with health, loss of work, study, a family, and life.
People see in drug addiction flight not only from cruel living conditions (R. Merton, J. McDonald, J. Kennedy, etc.), but also from general standardization, a regulation, programmation of life in modern society (Z. Bodriyar).
"Drugs in itself don't make essence of a problem. Abuse of them is a symptom of deep contradictions which the personality in attempts to overcome stressful life experiences faces, in search of positive interpersonal contacts in the form of understanding, approval, and also emotional and social support. At their absence drugs carry out a role of peculiar crutches which, unfortunately, don't treat, and will cripple" . This statement shows once again, how a shortcoming of "positive sanctions" (approval), emotional support leads to a situation which try to "correct" negative sanctions.
"We didn't win any battle with drugs and never we will win"… because "we can't expel drugs and addicts from our life" . Authorized concerning drug addiction of Hamburg Mr. H. Bossong spoke in the report in St. Petersburg (February, 1995): "The use of drugs and a drug addiction won't disappear at system of a ban of the criminal law … It is impossible to teach to lead a healthy lifestyle the person under the threat of criminal punishment". And criminologist Shonchek considers policy "wars with drugs" as result of mystification of a problem, false consciousness and hypocrisy . "Society without drugs is a destructive illusion", spoke K.Bruun - one of coauthors of the remarkable book "Convenient enemy" in which the rebuff is given to supporters of a ban of drugs spoke.
For this reason in the civilized world gradual transition from policy "War on Drugs" to policy of "Harm reduction" is observed. Most consistently on this way went the Netherlands, Switzerland, Great Britain and Australia .
From the economic point of view L.Timofeev gives a sober assessment of a ban of drug traffic: "From all possible ways of regulation of branch – the taxation, nationalization, a ban – the ban is just least productive. To forbid the market – doesn't mean to destroy it. To forbid the market – means to give forbidden, but actively an emerging market under complete control of criminal corporations … To forbid the market means to enrich the criminal world with hundred billions dollars, to provide to criminal forces wide access to the public benefits. At last, most important. To forbid the market – means to give to criminal corporations of possibility and resources for purposeful, program political influence on these or those societies and the states" .
The change of the narcotic policy began from the Report (March, 2009) of the Director-performer of Management of the United Nations on drugs and crime under the characteristic name is published: "Organized crime and safety threat. Fight against a destructive consequence control over drugs". In the report it is told about one "tragic and unexpected" a consequence "fight against drugs" - enormous expansion of the criminal market, the developed world drug mafia.
The main idea of this report consists in that consequences of "War on Drugs" are more dangerous than drugs themselves: "Dramatic unintended consequence: a criminal market of staggering proportions… Also interesting is the fact that far fewer people use illicit drugs than use licit addictive and often lethal substances such as tobacco and alcohol. And far fewer people die as a result of illicit drugs… We can start by framing our collective efforts against drugs less like a war, and more like an effort to cure a social illness… Drug users, who are already on the margins of society, should not be criminalized. Because of their health condition, they should go to rehabilitation, not to jail".
And R. Gil Kerlikowske, new Director White House Office of National Drug Control Policy spoke: "We do not wage war with own folk".
At different times didn't publish work of A. Pushkin and James Joyce, Oskar Wilde and Henry Miller, because it is "pornography". Now it is the world classics.
The Penal Code of the Russian Federation (Art. 242) states that fabrication goods and disseminating pornography are crimes. But it is not a definition of "pornography" anywhere in the world, including Russia. There is a criminal liability for that, it is not known for what.
Gambling is a kind of addiction. Illegal playing cards became available in Russia from the 17th century. Legalization of the gambling industry in the Russian Federation attracted many people. Gambling is an "evil" for both the player and his family. But the prohibition of legal casinos leads to illegal casinos (so-called Russian criminal "catrans"), corruption and organized crime .
According to some information, now in Moscow functions twice more illegal gambling institutions (catrans), than earlier – legal. New tariff of law-enforcement "services" were defined also: the prevention of owners of planned check - $20,000-30,000; "check" which "didn't see" gambling machine guns - $40,000-50,000, etc.
We have result of prohibition legal casinos in contemporary Russia from 2009: thousands employees of gambling institutions joined growing ranks of the unemployed, the treasury doesn't receive taxes, on pleasure to underworld the reliable network of underground institutions is built, the market of corruption services grew. What the following we will forbid?
Prostitution is a form of commodity and cash relation. The purchase and sale of sexual service exists alongside other forms of service such as the sale of knowledge, power and skills. Prostitution can even serve a useful purpose in preserving monogamous marriage. The prohibition of prostitution generates the illegal sex-industry, corruption, and organized crime.
Prohibition is an extreme variation on the theme of the regulation of social behaviour. It is useful and necessary only in extreme cases where the safety of society and people is at risk. The traditional aspiration of the power of Russia to a prohibition generates corruption, organized crime, a human rights violation.